News & Events

24 Aug 2017
The Latest Innovations in Collection Trucks

Productivity and competition are the driving factors in innovations in solid waste truck and body design, notes Skip Berg, national sales manager and director of business development for automation for Labrie Enviroquip Group.

“The smarter people get, the more they know about what they are doing,” he says. “The finer their bidding process, their finer pricing tools can be. Solid waste operations are vying for a limited pool of drivers and mechanics.”

During a visit to a Toledo dealership, Berg noted a significant emphasis being placed on the quality of the break room and the training center.

“That’s to keep their employees happy, because when they get somebody that’s really good with multiplexing and onboard computers, they want to keep them. And they’ve got a lot invested in training them,” says Berg. “I think all of us are focused on productivity and the training and monitoring that’s necessary to not only measure it, but maintain it.”

One of the attractions inviting employees to get into the industry and stay in it is the type of equipment itself, especially when it’s packed with innovations that underscore safety and efficiency. One of the latest industry trends is leveraging data to understand what’s going on with solid waste collection vehicles with such factors as how many lifts per day and how much time elapses between stops, Berg says.

Scales are becoming more critical as well, he adds. In addition to truck and body design, fuel technologies are adding efficiencies for waste collection vehicles.

Allison Transmission recently introduced FuelSense 2.0 with DynActive Shifting, designed to optimize fuel savings by an additional 6% beyond the company’s original FuelSense software introduced in 2014.

It is offered in three packages and designed to allow fleets to optimize fuel economy and performance to their specific needs, such as the heavy start-stop conditions in solid waste collection.

FuelSense 2.0, FuelSense 2.0 Plus, and FuelSense 2.0 Max include DynActive Shifting, designed to provide a variable combination of shift points. FuelSense 2.0 utilizes a learning algorithm to continuously seek the ideal fuel economy and performance balance.

FuelSense 2.0 Plus and Max include improved Neutral at Stop, a feature designed to lower fuel consumption and emissions by reducing or eliminating the load on the engine when the vehicle is stopped.

The standard version provides partial Neutral at Stop. The premium version provides full Neutral at Stop and a low-speed coasting capability. Both versions feature a locked output at stop to prevent rollback.

Autocar is the first OEM truck manufacturer to provide FuelSense 2.0, which controls an Autocar truck’s fully automatic Allison transmission and reduces the load on the engine when possible.

Autocar has installed the software—configured to optimize fuel consumption and performance according to each customer’s specific preferences—into trucks’ transmission control module.

“A typical garbage truck burns 10,000 gallons of fuel a year,” notes Jim Johnson, Autocar’s president. “With FuelSense 2.0 Max, our customers can save more than $1,500 per year in fuel costs at the current diesel price.”

The fuel savings is directly related to an identical emissions reduction.

Through the software, Autocar leverages the algorithm for fuel economy and performance balance. Additional options may be selected to save fuel while the truck is coming to a stop, at idle, and while accelerating.

Fuel economy can be monitored directly on Autocar’s On-Board Diagnostic system via a screen on the truck’s dashboard.

Autocar is installing the FuelSense 2.0 in both diesel and CNG applications and for both Allison 3000 Series and 4000 Series transmissions in an effort to adapt to the specific conditions collection trucks encounter on routes.

In Santa Monica, CA, Jim Keezell, resource recovery and recycling administrator, says he was “looking for a lighter chassis so we could maximize our payload. California has different weight restrictions. If I can save 500 pounds here and 1,000 pounds there on the build, it gets me that much more in payload. That can mean the difference between a second or third load.”

To obtain that, he chose a CNG automated side loader by Autocar.

At Henrickson, the Progressive Load Spring was introduced into production on its HAULMAAX rear rubber suspension, reducing service issues and making a favorable impression on the overall performance of the suspension, notes Laura Brown, Hendrickson vocational product marketing.

“The Progressive Load Spring eliminates the need to estimate the appropriate number of shims needed for the vehicle and increases the life of the rubber springs and structural components and longevity of the suspension system,” she adds.

Lighter weight products have become increasingly important to allow for increased loading capacity, better fuel economy, lower life cycle costs, and offsetting engine/emission system weight increases, notes Brown, adding the company strives to design balancing weight-saving products without sacrificing durability for tough applications such as the refuse market.

Edited for space.

Published August 24, 2017, MSW Management.